Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I totally realized that I didn't even write the Stuffing part of my letter! I usually do that last so I can finish up with the beginning and the end! I'll do it now! This week was super boring. I got the flu and spent a whole day inside sick. Then, Sister Messer got sick. Barbara got confirmed!!! These last 2 weeks, we've only had 3 days where we don't have dinners. The ward has finally realized that the Sisters are really cool. Everyone wants to feed us. We're hilarious together. The Elders get super jealous when they see our meal calendar! We have had so many people in the ward tell us they didn't know missionaries had fun. When they see us, we're always cracking jokes and picking on each other. We get the whole ward involved in these conversations. LOVE IT! It's super funny when you see the ward members try to copy Sister Messer and I in anything... Like dress, speech, jokes, and people even try to copy my hair... not sure how I feel about THAT particular thing. My hair is HUGE!!!!! It's super curly now! I have given up on it. It let it go in any direction it wants. People always comment on it and ask me how I did it. I just tell them that I wake up and leave it alone. That's all I do. It doesn't matter what I do to it... it will always be messy. Good thing I've had that as a motto for a while, "Always have messy hair, that way, when it's messy on accident, it looks like it was meant to be that way." Well, welcome to missionary life. This week, we got a new investigator, who now lives in Greeneville. We gave them that referral. Then, our investigator Norma, is moving to Greeneville. Now, they have another referral from us. You're welcome Greeneville! Hahahaha! It is soooooooo weird to know that I'm over halfway done with my mission! CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I luv yu'ns mor'n awl them pesky skeeters. :) I'm fluent in hick!
Monday, May 19, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
(2 photos)****Families are Forever...****because of this place. 5.14.2014 (Sent from Brooke (with President’s encouragement) to the family because of the passing of Grandma Bodily……) Hey family... President called me on Monday night and told me about Grandma Bodily. He gave me permission to write you today and share some thoughts with you. He told me something that has stuck with me. Earlier in the day, I texted him saying, "Hey President, sorry to be a bother, but have you heard if my grandma died yet?" I had been thinking of it constantly since I talked to you on the phone. He replied, "I have not. Did you connect with your mom ok yesterday?" I was probably interrupting something very important during his day, and yet he wanted to know if I was able to call my mom. That, to me, is a character of Christ. He told me that he had just been on the phone with some other distraught parents and he cared enough to ask me that. That night, around 9, he called me to tell me that he had received word that Grandma had passed earlier in the day. He told me that he realized that when I had texted, it was at the same time she died. He told me that I was inspired to ask him at that time. He told me that I now have another guardian angel watching over me. I know that to be true. He also asked me if I would write to you before Friday so you could have my thoughts before the funeral. He actually committed me to write you. He said, "Will you...?" That's a commitment. He cares so much that he wants even my family to be happy. It just shows me that he knows how important family is. It was his Mother's Day weekend too, and he wanted me to be happy. He took so much time out of his holiday, his chance to talk to his kids one last time before he goes home, just to make sure I was taken care of. That's Charity- the pure love of Christ. I can't tell you how many times I've taught the Plan of Salvation to people since I've been on my mission. I can't tell you how many times I've used the phrase, "Families are Forever" since I've been here. I can't tell you how many times I've told people who have lost a loved-one that everything will be alright because of the Atonement. It all meant something new this week. I realized that I am not just there to teach people that... I am here to believe it too. One of the hardest things for me, is knowing that my family is sad, and I can't do anything about it. This week, I have realized that everything really WILL be taken care of. The Atonement is so much more than just a sacrifice for sin. Just like it says in Alma 7:11-12... It's a sacrifice for pains, afflictions, temptations and literally every thing we go through. There's nothing in the world that Jesus Christ hasn't experienced. He suffered for it all. There's a New Era poster in our apartment and it says, "The Savior of all... did it all for you." He did. I know He did. THAT'S why we can know families can be together forever. That's the whole reason we try. Because it's possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I don't want to take up too much of your time with missionary stuff, but I do want to leave my testimony with you that I know Heavenly Father's plan for His children. It's difficult, filled with trials and afflictions, but it's also worth it. "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." Alma 40: 11-12 I love you all and hope you have a great week. Love, Sister Echols